Unit 6: A Century of Challenge

In 1914, Austria declared war on Serbia over the assassination of one of their nobles. Their allies came to their aid, beginning World War I. Millions of lives were lost and it ended with an uneasy peace. In Russia, the strains of the war led to the Russian Revolution, which removed the Tsar and placed the Soviets in power. World War II began in 1939 with Germany, Italy, and Japan fought against the United Kingdom, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States. By the end of the war 50 million lives had been lost.

The first half of the 1900s saw China change from an empire to a republic to a communist state. A civil war between republican and communist forces was especially long and bitter. Both sides united to fight the Japanese during World War II, but went back to fighting each other when that war was over. Mao Zedong's communists were successful in the end, and continue to rule China today.

After World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union squared off against one another in the Cold War. India gained its independence from Britain and has become a high-tech powerhouse. Southwest Asia continues to search for peace. Many African nations gained their independence from European control after World War II. They currently struggle with war, famine, and health issues. Southeast Asian nations gained their independence as well and have had many struggles and successes.

The world today faces many challenges. A global economy, the environment, worldwide health, and terrorism are just a few issues that are of great interest and concern. Still, there is hope. Nations are doing what they can to help other nations. Individuals and groups, too, are working together to make positive changes in the world.